Society for Elementary Books
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The Society for Elementary Books (Polish: Towarzystwo do Ksiąg Elementarnych; 1775–92) was an institution formed by Poland's Commission of National Education (Komisja Edukacji Narodowej) in Warsaw in 1775. The Society's mandate was to design school syllabuses and textbooks for newly reformed schools.
Since education in Poland had until then been conducted mostly in Latin, the Commission of National Education faced the problem of an almost complete lack of textbooks. It was to cope with this problem that the Society for Elementary Books was formed. At times the scientists who worked on the new Polish-language textbooks had to invent the requisite specialized vocabulary. Much of the vocabulary that they invented, related to chemistry, physics, mathematics and grammar, is still in use today, and some of the Society's textbooks were in use as late as the Second Polish Republic (1918–39).
Famous books created by the Society included Elementarz dla szkół parafialnych and Gramatyka dla szkół narodowych z przypisami. The Society was chaired by Ignacy Potocki, and its general secretary was Grzegorz Piramowicz. Hugo Kołłątaj made many important contributions to the Society's projects. Members included Onufry Kopczyński, Kazimierz Narbutt, Józef Wybicki and the academic directors of the Warsaw Corps of Cadets—Ch. Pfleiderer (mathematics) and Michał Jan Hube.
The Society was dissolved in 1792, in anticipation of the coming total dissolution of the Polish state.
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